Posts tagged School Librarianship

2017 VAASL Conference

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This was my first trip to the VAASL conference, but it definitely won’t be my last.  It was amazing to see Audrey name every current and former Longwood School Librarianship student at the gathering on Thursday night – just one more example of how wonderful and personal our program is.  The conference was the perfect opportunity to meet librarians and reconnect with former colleges from all over the state and share some of the innovative and successful things we’re doing in our libraries.  As a result of these conversations, I’m going to visit a Hanover County library next week to see how they are mixing it up at their book fair.  My two favorite conference sessions were both led by Maura Madigan: Library Centers and Problem Based Learning in the Library.  There was not an empty seat, wall, or foot of floor space in either session.   What I loved is that I left both sessions with practical ideas about how to implement these programs in my library.  My photos are from the PBL session during the hands-on activity that challenged us to build the tallest freestanding structure from newspaper and a very small amount of tape.  I’ve done a similar activity with my classes that required spaghetti, string, and marshmallows.  I love that Maura’s version had fewer, simpler, and even easier to acquire materials.  My group was pretty proud of our stable structure, but as you can see, it was definitely not the tallest.  Though we didn’t win, we were thoroughly engaged, did a little self-evaluation, learned some lessons, and experienced first-hand how fun, engaging, and education these activities can be.   

 

 

VAASL Conference 2017

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My name is Rebecca Kronthal and I am currently a graduate student in Longwood’s 3rd Prince William Cohort for School Librarianship.  I was thrilled to be able to attend the 2017 conference for the Virginia Association of School Librarians from Thursday, Nov. 2nd until Saturday, Nov. 4th in Chantilly, Virginia.  I attended sessions on many topics and trends in the field of School Librarianship.  I enjoyed sessions reviewing “What’s New” in Children’s literature for 2017 as well as many “How to’s” on topics such as Makerspaces, book clubs, selecting authentic diverse books, author visits, lego stations, fostering a love of reading in a school culture, and judging “Fake News.”  The highlights of the conference were the fantastic author visits and keynote speakers.  I was very excited to hear Newberry winner Kwame Alexander speak about his journey to become an award winning author.  I also got to meet and talk with Donalyn Miller, author of the Book Whisperer.  She inspires me to want to create a school full of life-long readers!  (See photo.)   I enjoyed hearing Marc Nobleman speak about how his investigative research into the origins of Superman and Batman have changed history forever.  They were all very uplifting and inspiring stories.  Finally, I also got to network and meet many librarians from all over the state of Virginia and talk with them about their school libraries.  This is the valuable advice that can’t be learned from a textbook.  Hearing from librarians who are doing the job every day really gave me a lot to think about!  I also caught up with my fellow Longwood graduate students as well at a Longwood School Librarianship event on Thursday night at the conference.  We played Longwood trivia games and learned a lot about our academic department and Longwood, while playing Kahoot!  I am excited to try out a lot of the things that I have learned when I get back to my school, such as planning a lego station in my literacy centers and following Donalyn Miller’s advice to allow my students more choice when it comes to the books they read.  I hope to do even more when I become a school librarian.  Thank you for the opportunity to attend this great conference!  I am looking forward to the 2018 conference in Williamsburg!

VAASL Annual Conference: Norfolk 2016-2017

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Today was the first day of VAASL (Virginia Association of School Librarians).  All I can say is it was a fire-hose of information!  It was very overwhelming to be around so many librarians, and having to decide what sessions to go to!  I appreciated Frances’ advice of sitting near the door (for easy escape) and tried to do at least half of all the sessions I attended (allowing me to see twice as many session). I started the morning in a session that linked the VA Reader’s choice books to state standards.  They had great handouts about all the different activities that could be done at the elementary level, but didn’t address any of the middle grade books.  From there I caught the end of a session on the magic of series (which was very disappointing). After the morning session we saw the keynote speaker, Dr. Rob Furman.  I spent most of his session firing off e-mails to my colleagues back at Smart’s Mill about all the great resources he shared.  I particularly want to check out James Patterson’s website www.readkiddoread.com (books for reluctant readers).  In the afternoon I went to a session on becoming Google certified (which is very easy to do and only $10 to apply), then we went to the first timers tea and got all sorts of free books!  My favorite session was the one I only caught the tail end of, which used themes to tie different fiction books together.  The presenters were so animated, and there are so many great titles!  I ended the day with author Ginjer Clark, who writes nonfiction books on weird animals.  Her focus was on encouraging reluctant readers to engage in nonfiction by showing them the odd and disgusting.  I had a great time seeing everyone at the alumni event, and was impressed by Audrey’s ability to name everyone (and so quickly!).  I loved the tribute to Frances – “Oh the Places You Will Go!”

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October 21, 2016

Today was a fabulous day – best day by far!  All the sessions were absolutely amazing.  I began with the Junior Library Guild and their new releases for middle and upper grades.  I need to figure out how to get advance copies of books – what a tease!  My next session was sponsored by a math teacher aspiring to be a librarian and which Tech Tools we should integrate into the library to win over our math and science teachers.  My poor math SALT must have received at least 5 e-mails from me during this session!  Then we went to a session on Picture Books at the middle school level.  I was especially excited for this session as November is National Picture Book Month, and one of my reading promotions is to get each content to use a picture book to support their lessons.  The keynote speaker today was Mr. Schu – who is the fabulous library ambassador for Scholastic.  What a dream job!  Such an amazing speaker, and he was able to create such energy in that room.  Everyone should get a chance to see him speak!

 

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October 22, 2016

Short day today – only stayed for two sessions.  The first was on the Best Apps for 2016 sponsored by AASL.  Many of these apps were new to me, so my principal is allowing me to use 10 minutes in a faculty meeting to share with our staff.  My second session was presented by two first year librarians.  It was titled I Survived!  Overall it wasn’t the best presentation, but I did win a free book!  It did make me think about what I would want to share at VAASL next year if I were to present as a first year librarian.  So glad to have had this opportunity!

 

Charting the Course: VAASL 2016

henrycoleI charted my course to Norfolk, where the 2016 annual conference of the Virginia Association of School Librarians was held. As a student, I was delighted to start off with the session, “New to You! Lesson Ideas”, which was chock full of lesson ideas to use in an elementary school. Both new and classic books were discussed with innovative ideas to use them in the library classroom. Dr. Rob Furman followed up with an inspirational keynote presentation that proposed “Principles for Facilitating a Reading Culture” that included suggestions on technology tools, such as Plotagon and Kindoma. I was fortunate to be able to attend Dee Griffith and Marsha Stewart’s, “What’s New in Children’s Literature” session. I attended their 2015 session, and was so excited to see that they were doing it again this year with 2016 published books. Being able to see the books in person, to examine the readability, and find out their connections to SOLs will be useful for years to come. The next stops on my voyage were to learning about strategies for supporting English learners in the library classroom and finding the treasures in AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. Day one of my journey ended with a gathering of Longwood students and Alumni where we paid tribute to our Professor, Frances Reeve. It was an unforgettable day. Day two started off with “Managing the K-1 Library Period”, where I found out cutting-edge techniques of incorporating centers to ease the check-out process while keeping students engaged in learning. I traveled on to the Junior Library Guild presentation on new releases, followed by a presentation by my amazing cohort classmates who taught us how to promote reading with the use of book trailers. The last stop on my session route was the “Addictive Magic of Book Series” where I learned the benefits of series for our students. This expedition was definitely rejuvenating, and I am already looking forward to 2017 in Chantilly (my home turf!). – Marci Hoyt

VAASL Conference 2015

20151120_074758I attended my very first (of hopefully many!) VAASL Conference in Williamsburg, VA. The atmosphere was upbeat and contained so much information that my mind is still reeling!! The speakers were professional, prepared, and entertaining (the Keynote Address was amazing)! The technology-based sessions were full of useful interactive tools, apps, and websites that can be integrated into the curriculum. I learned about the safe, non-tracking, search engine, DuckDuckGo, and have already begun singing its praises at my school. Additionally, the real-life examples shared were so intriguing I have been sampling Kahoot! quizzes, making interactive ThingLinks, and have been investigating all that Skype Virtual Field Trips have to offer. The session I attended titled, “What’s New in Children’s Literature” was an incredible, fast-paced showcase of amazing picture books, which allowed a sneak peek into the text layout, and they even provided connections to the VA SOLs. There was a session on book repair where I got to learn first-hand from professional librarian’s how it is done when you are on your own with minimal funds. I was also fortunate to attend one of the my professor’s sessions. Dr. Audrey Church presented to a standing room only audience on the “Top Ten Topics and Trends for 2015”.   I received a plethora of resources on a wide –range of topics, including coding, stations, and diverse books. Being able to network with librarians was such an incredible opportunity – everyone I spoke with was eager to provide me with answers and guidance. I cannot wait to attend again!

 

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